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Boardroom Rhymes

The Zurich-based artist Hans Danuser was asked to create an art intervention both inside and adjacent to the new boardroom of the modernized wing of what used to be the Nationale Suisse head office. The theme he chose to engage with, that of decision-making, is a most apposite one for the location.
danuser

Titled Joggeli, Danuser’s intervention extends over three rooms of the building located at Steinengraben 25 in Basel. It begins in the entrance area, intensifies to a cluster on the end wall of the boardroom, and from there meanders across the walls of the adjoining visitors’ restaurant. As part of Danuser’s “Counting Out Rhyme Project” on the theme of decision-making, the work makes playful reference to the boardroom’s function as the scene of critical brainstorming sessions and momentous decisions destined to shape the future of the company for years to come.

A counting rhyme in Val Bregaglia dialect

Danuser’s “Counting Out Rhyme Project” is essentially an inquiry into the very ancient decision-making process after which it is named, which even today is still widely used in many different cultures and many different languages. The rhymes selected for the entrance and boardroom are in English and Bregagliot, the dialect spoken in the Val Bregaglia in Canton Graubünden. These are translated into written images rather like rhythmic scores, in which the words distributed across the walls bathe the rooms in a distinctive colour, which in turn generates a distinctive mood. “Joggeli söll ga Birli schüttle,” the verse from a children's book by Lisa Wenger from which the work derives its title, does not surface until the visitors’ restaurant. Only there does Danuser for the first time use a nursery rhyme rather than a classic counting rhyme.

Hans Danuser

Hans Danuser is a Zurich-based artist whose oeuvre comprises installations, photographs, and percent-for-art projects, many of which address scientific themes. He began integrating script into his photographic installations very early on. Hans Danuser was born in Chur in 1953 and lives and works in Zurich.

www.hans-danuser.ch

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